Wahine basketball signs 'dynamic' guard
By Ann Miller
If all goes well for Rainbow Wahine basketball next season, Keisha Kanekoa might get some rest.
Keianna "Keke" Evans, a 5-foot-7 point guard from Fayetteville, N.C., signed a letter of intent with Hawai'i yesterday, on the first day of the spring signing period.
Evans started for Kaskaskia Junior College in Illinois the last two years. The psychology major helped her team to a fourth-place national finish as a freshman. She averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals this season and was named all-conference and all-region.
Evans, who was Kaskaskia's captain, reminds UH head coach Dana Takahara-Dias of former Rainbow Janevia Taylor, the team's 2004 Ah Chew Goo Award winner. According to Takahara, both are "dynamic, spunky and feisty," and Evans has two years of junior college maturity.
"You could tell she will fit in perfectly with the returnees and the program," said Takahara, who had Evans in last week for her official visit. "We anticipate her bringing great leadership and passion at the point guard position. She's been doing it at the JC level so I think the transition will be seamless."
Kanekoa led the Rainbow Wahine in scoring (12.6 points), minutes played (32.2) and assists (105) from the point guard position her junior year, finishing second in the conference in assists. She played the full 40 minutes in four games. The Honoka'a graduate earned this year's Ah Chew Goo Award at Sunday's banquet, as its most inspirational player.
The addition of Evans and Sydney Haydel, a 5-9 wing player from Los Angeles who committed during the early signing period, could give Hawai'i a new look, according to Takahara. She calls both exceptional defensive players and rebounders.
Haydel's Harvard-Westlake team went 34-1 this season and won its first CIF Division IV-A Southern Section Championship. She earned first-team league and CIF honors and was the championship game MVP. Haydel averaged 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals as a senior.
Haydel is also a four-time Elite Youth All-American in track, winning the 2005 USSA Track & Field Youth Pentathlon, then following up with a national championship in 100-meter hurdles the following year and the CIF shot put championship in 2008.